Good result for macular degeneration shots

Oct. 5, 2006 at 4:48 PM

HOUSTON, Oct. 5 (UPI) -- U.S. retina surgeons have shown unprecedented improvements in vision in patients treated with Lucentis for wet age-related macular degeneration.

Lead author Dr. David M. Brown, a retinal surgeon at The Methodist Hospital, says data from the two randomized, controlled pivotal Phase III clinical trials of Lucentis, or ranibizumab injection, shows that at one year, 95 percent of patients treated with Lucentis did not lose vision. Of these patients, 55 percent maintained their vision -- defined as a loss of less than 15 letters in visual acuity -- and up to 40 percent experienced an improvement of three lines or more on the study eye chart, according to the study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

"Lucentis therapy is the most significant advance in the treatment of macular degeneration in the history of the disease," said Brown.

"The ANCHOR study compared the previous treatment for macular degeneration -- photodynamic therapy -- with Lucentis in the most aggressive form of the disease. While 60 percent of the eyes treated with photodynamic therapy were legally blind at the end of the first year of study, patients who received Lucentis treatment were able to avoid legal blindness in seven out of eight cases."

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